Help Needed

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
I tried to evaluate the option of the water feature leaking but there are places that are not anywhere near the water feature and they still sounded hollow.
I thought that I could use the white stuff behind it! Thank God I ask for help here. Now I can keep chipping away the white stuff as well.

What I don't understand is why the last resurfacing was done on top of the old resurfacing, it was a very cheap way of doing it!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!


No, you have lots of prep ahead if you want the next re plaster to adhere properly. All of the re plaster has to come off and "chip" all of the old plaster underneath. Then get every bit of non plaster material off with a pressure washer. Find the highest output pressure you can find. Maybe rent a gas powered one. You want the surface to be as clean and rough as possible. I wouldn't advise using a bonding material or "bond coat".

Ground movement creates cracks, not delaminations. A leak in your water feature (in the right place) MAY cause delamination, but it would be localized to the area. It wouldn't likely spread throughout the whole pool.
 
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FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
Not sure if I should feel OK now that there's somebody else in the area with the same issue as us :)

I didn't know that the white stuff was the old plaster! I thought it was the shell already! I need to keep chipping then.
I bought tile for the entire pool and I want to install it myself. I thought about going the route of redgard but I don't think it is suitable for submersible applications. On top of that I want Laticrete 254 and then on top of that the tiles with some submersible mortar and then epoxy grout (or acrylic, not sure what's the one that goes in there, is a few days away still).
The valve has been opened since day 1 and there's not a lot of water pouring in.

I have 2 photos attached of the progress we made today, but now I need to continue with the white plaster or quartz that is there.

Thanks for the tip on Custom's Prolite I was having a little bit of an issue in getting Laticrete 254 around me so I'll take a look at this.

Thank you!!!!


I'm from Central Florida, and redid my pool a couple months ago that looked just like yours and seemed to have similar issues.
It appears that you had a quartz plaster (resurfaced once or twice before potentially) installed over the original marcite plaster (the white showing after the top layer is coming off). You have not hit the original gunite yet, that would be showing grey in color.

In the past they wouldn't not do a Bond Kote between the original marcite plaster and the quartz re-plaster. This appears to be where the delamination is occurring (very common in Central Florida).

This is my 2 cents and what I have done on my pool after much research:

Make sure your hydrostatic vavle is open. It has been dry lately in Florida, but if it starts to rain, the ground water may raise. Especially if your pool remain empty for some time.

1. Removed all the quartz plaster down to the original white marcite (which was still adhered very strongly). A few places the original marcite was able to be removed, and I roughed up the original marcite some with my chipping hammer. But at this point, I no Zero hollow or empty sounds on the plaster.
2. I removed all the existing tile, smoothed the area behind the tiles with hydraullic cement as there where large voids back there. Did two layers of Red Guard waterproofing membrane where the tiles would be installed.
3. Installed the new pool tiles (Make sure you use a thinset rated to be fully submerged under water). I used Custom's Prolite from home depot. It is rated for fully submersed applications and readily available. Make sure you let the tile thinset cure the recommended time in the spec sheet (14 days).
4. Pressure wash / wash the surface. You do not want dust on the surface. Alot of people recommend pressure washing the old plaster off, but I used a 4000 PSI, 4 GPM commercial pressure washer with a zero nozzle on mine, it it did not make a dent removing the old plaster.
5. I then installed the SMG Bond Kote (follow the mixing instructions and application instructions on this). This is probably the most contested advise I have found on this forum. Alot of people water it down and that is why it doesn't seem to work for them (I used the 2 part system that is mixed with epoxy, not sure how the 1 step one works). Mixed correctly it comes out thick, gritty and provides an excellent adhesion to the existing substrate. Bond Kote is a PITA to roll on correctly when it is thick. I will stress again that cheap installers water it down to make it roll on easy like paint. After installed the pool will be a very Dark Grey and have a very rough texture.
6. At this point I had someone install the new plaster.
 

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WhiteWine

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2018
57
Orlando
I would highly suggest just replastering the pool again, versus tiling the entire thing. Your pool is a free form gunite pool and is not conducive of tiling. It would cost much less and be less maintenance in the long run.

If you are still interested in tiling the entire thing:
I looked into Laticrete 254 for my waterline tile thinset, and could also not find it locally. So I did the research and the Prolite had an identical technical cut sheets as the Laticrete 254, meeting all the same standards.

Please be aware that the Tile and Thinset you plan to install are not water barriers. While the thinset (Laticrete 254 or Prolite) are rated for submersible applications, no thinset is rated to block water from permeating them into the gunite. Additionally your pool gunite is not water proof either. So your water level will always go down due to water leaking through the tile grout lines, thinset and gunite. .

Redguard is rated for submersible applications, see cut sheet: https://www.custombuildingproducts.com/media/60093643/poolsfountains_wp129_11-14.pdf

I know you had bad luck with your last resurface, but with the proper prep like you seem already to do, your next resurface should last much longer and should cost much cheaper then all the tile you will have to purchase.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,626
Morris Cnty NJ
I agree that you are better off doing all the prep amd having it plastered. I know its expensive but if you compare the cost of 254 to do an entire pool its cheaper. I love the stuff and use it everywhere but its pricey. You also need a waterproof membrane to tile a pool under it all. If you prep it well amd get all that stuff off amd down to the shell you will get a nice outcome. A basic plaster job isnt too bad in FL its triple up here in NJ. Add in all material amd labor and tiling is a huge job on a freeform its even harder. Some cheap harbor freight air chisels amd a borrowed compressor would make short work of the old stuff
 

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
You almost convinced me of not going the tile route but I already bought it and it was bought a while ago so the return period is over by now.

I really appreciate the info for RedGard I've done several shower boxes with redgard before and I love it.

So yesterday I started clearing the quartz plaster that was left there and as soon as I have it clear I'll do the following:

1) - RedGard.
2) - Prolite.
3) - Tile (can I use Prolite to install the tiles directly over it? Or can I use a specific thinnest for glass tile on top of Prolite?)
4) - Grout.
5) - Share work done with the forum.
6) - Lay in the pool for 2 days straight!

I would highly suggest just replastering the pool again, versus tiling the entire thing. Your pool is a free form gunite pool and is not conducive of tiling. It would cost much less and be less maintenance in the long run.

If you are still interested in tiling the entire thing:
I looked into Laticrete 254 for my waterline tile thinset, and could also not find it locally. So I did the research and the Prolite had an identical technical cut sheets as the Laticrete 254, meeting all the same standards.

Please be aware that the Tile and Thinset you plan to install are not water barriers. While the thinset (Laticrete 254 or Prolite) are rated for submersible applications, no thinset is rated to block water from permeating them into the gunite. Additionally your pool gunite is not water proof either. So your water level will always go down due to water leaking through the tile grout lines, thinset and gunite. .

Redguard is rated for submersible applications, see cut sheet: https://www.custombuildingproducts.com/media/60093643/poolsfountains_wp129_11-14.pdf

I know you had bad luck with your last resurface, but with the proper prep like you seem already to do, your next resurface should last much longer and should cost much cheaper then all the tile you will have to purchase.
 

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
Yeah, that will be an option if it weren't that I have the tile already.

We rented electric chisels at Home Depot to remove the plaster and now the quartz or whatever it was that it is under the plaster, we did half the pool and we will continue today and during the weekend to have it ready for RedGard.

I really appreciate your time and opinion.

I agree that you are better off doing all the prep amd having it plastered. I know its expensive but if you compare the cost of 254 to do an entire pool its cheaper. I love the stuff and use it everywhere but its pricey. You also need a waterproof membrane to tile a pool under it all. If you prep it well amd get all that stuff off amd down to the shell you will get a nice outcome. A basic plaster job isnt too bad in FL its triple up here in NJ. Add in all material amd labor and tiling is a huge job on a freeform its even harder. Some cheap harbor freight air chisels amd a borrowed compressor would make short work of the old stuff
 

WhiteWine

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2018
57
Orlando
I think I lost you on steps 2 and 3.
Prolite (or any thinset you can buy) is not something that is spread over the entire pool and allowed to harden first. It is what adheres tile to a substrate. You will used a notched trowel (size based on the size of the tile you are installing, small tile, small notch size). You would not spread a smooth layer of the thinset, let it dry, then install tile over it with more thinset.
Step 2 should be combined with step 3. You would adhere your tile to the redguard/gunite with the thinset of your choice (Prolite, 254, etc.)
I assume the tile you are installing is like a 1" x 1" glass mosaic tile (as any larger tile would not contour to the free form curves of the pools).
1" x 1" tile requires a 1/4" x 1/4" V notch trowel or maybe a 1/4" x 1/4" square notch trowel.

What it appears you are describing you want to do is using the prolite (tile thinset) as a pool plaster (installing a thin, ~1/4" layer over the entire pool shell).

Actual pool plaster is much cheaper per bag then what you are proposing.
a 30lb bag of thinset is like $28 per bag
a 80lb bag of real pool plaster is like $18 per bag
 
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Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
470
Martinez, CA
I’ve never seen anyone replaster a pool and not remove it down to the gunite here in california. I’d try to find technical docs from the plaster company that was used and see if they align with how it was prepped. If the prep steps weren’t followed, I’d hire an independent pool inspector to inspect and verify the findings then sue the pool contractor in court to recoup your money. Document EVERYTHING! Pics, videos, etc while inspector is there and material is removed. That entire pool is delaminated so it's unlikely caused by a water feature.
 

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
Lucky me! I have proof that companies here in FL do it :)

There was an item on the contract that stated that I can only sue him during 3 years after their job was done......I've spent a LOT of energy going this route and it ended nowhere. Right now I just want it done and be able to use our pool!!!

I’ve never seen anyone replaster a pool and not remove it down to the gunite here in california. I’d try to find technical docs from the plaster company that was used and see if they align with how it was prepped. If the prep steps weren’t followed, I’d hire an independent pool inspector to inspect and verify the findings then sue the pool contractor in court to recoup your money. Document EVERYTHING! Pics, videos, etc while inspector is there and material is removed. That entire pool is delaminated so it's unlikely caused by a water feature.
 

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
Update: this is where we are.

I’ve been talking to some companies about what to do next and it seems that Hydroban will be it.
@Pool Clown do you think this is correct? Sorry to bother you and thanks!


EF1B312E-9B2D-4B28-9059-A37D0ADDE4EA.jpegB451D609-A8D6-44BE-824F-C1CDAFDC271F.jpegBEA3AB59-14A1-43B6-B219-EFEA965EC4E6.jpeg
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,626
Morris Cnty NJ
Depends what your plan of attack is. Usually in other parts of the world when a pool is tiled they leave a smooth but gritty surface. So you either feather all that out and then waterproof or waterproof amd then use mud amd tile setting as you go. Hydrobam is a popular product with PBs
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
2,136
Silicon Valley, CA
Yes, i saw that web page but could not find any product sheets that shows it being used for anything other than bathroom shower tiling. This looks like it is a good product when used in its intended purpose. I'm not sure i would recommend applying this product to the entire pool that is to be tiled. Only because i would not want the job of prepping that surface down the road when it comes time, needed or not, to resurface from an all tile (for what ever reason) to a traditional surface again.

Again, i have no experience with this product so, im no help.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,517
San Clemente, CA
Brian @bdavis466 have you used this product before?
Hydro Ban is a high quality product just like pretty much everything Laticrete makes.

Before you commit you need to talk to the tile manufacturer and see what they recommend for proper installation. I would be surprised if it's something other than Laticrete though.

Check out these guys, they use BaseCrete on all their jobs

 

FloridaLWR

Active member
Jan 2, 2019
42
Florida
A small update:

This is super weird but BaseCrete company is based a few miles from where I live. I sent Vito (BaseCrete owner) an email and he told me to call him. We had a super nice conversation about it and Monday he will be stopping by so he can show me how to waterproof our pool with BaseCrete. Can't ask for anything better!.